"Texas foster care children exposed to sexual abuse, given wrong medication and neglected in unlicensed placements, new report says.”

“U.S. Department of Justice investigating abuse, mistreatment at Texas’ juvenile lockups.”

These are just two of the latest headlines for stories detailing Texas youth services are failing children in the custody of the state. The story about foster care children speaks to a federal judge’s frustration overseeing the decadelong lawsuit against the state for conditions in its foster care system. The second informs us the federal justice department is looking into whether the Texas Juvenile Justice Department provides “reasonable protection from physical and sexual abuse by staff and other residents, excessive use of chemical restraints and excessive use of isolation,” according to The Texas Tribune.

If the kind of abuse found in Texas youth care systems were found at home, it would be more than enough to remove children from those situations. Except once they’re in state care, there’s nowhere to remove them to. They are stuck in situations potentially worse than those they face at home.

Texas must do better for the youth in its care. It’s time for state officials to clean both programs up.

Klark Byrd

The Paris News Editorial Board publishes editorials on topics of local relevance on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

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